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What Good Is Grand Strategy

Author: Hal Brands
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801470285
Size: 61.68 MB
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View: 2011
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Grand strategy is one of the most widely used and abused concepts in the foreign policy lexicon. In this important book, Hal Brands explains why grand strategy is a concept that is so alluring—and so elusive—to those who make American statecraft. He explores what grand strategy is, why it is so essential, and why it is so hard to get right amid the turbulence of global affairs and the chaos of domestic politics. At a time when “grand strategy” is very much in vogue, Brands critically appraises just how feasible that endeavor really is. Brands takes a historical approach to this subject, examining how four presidential administrations, from that of Harry S. Truman to that of George W. Bush, sought to “do” grand strategy at key inflection points in the history of modern U.S. foreign policy. As examples ranging from the early Cold War to the Reagan years to the War on Terror demonstrate, grand strategy can be an immensely rewarding undertaking—but also one that is full of potential pitfalls on the long road between conception and implementation. Brands concludes by offering valuable suggestions for how American leaders might approach the challenges of grand strategy in the years to come.

The Power Of The Past

Author: Hal Brands
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815727135
Size: 16.76 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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Leading scholars and policymakers explore how history influences foreign policy and offer insights on how the study of the past can more usefully serve the present. History, with its insights, analogies, and narratives, is central to the ways that the United States interacts with the world. Historians and policymakers, however, rarely engage one another as effectively or fruitfully as they might. This book bridges that divide, bringing together leading scholars and policymakers to address the essential questions surrounding the history-policy relationship including Mark Lawrence on the numerous, and often contradictory, historical lessons that American observers have drawn from the Vietnam War; H. W. Brands on the role of analogies in U.S. policy during the Persian Gulf crisis and war of 1990–91; and Jeremi Suri on Henry Kissinger's powerful use of history.

America Abroad

Author: Stephen Brooks
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190464267
Size: 19.49 MB
Format: PDF
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A decade and a half of exhausting wars, punishing economic setbacks, and fast-rising rivals has called into question America's fundamental position and purpose in world politics. Will the US continue to be the only superpower in the international system? Should it continue advancing the world-shaping grand strategy it has followed since the dawn of the Cold War? Or should it "come home" and focus on its internal problems? The recent resurgence of isolationist impulses has made the politics surrounding these questions increasingly bitter. In America Abroad, Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth take stock of these debates and provide a powerful defense of American globalism. They stress that world politics since end of World War Two has been shaped by two constants: America's position as the most powerful state, and its strategic choice to be deeply engaged in the world. Ever since, the US has advanced its interests by pursuing three core objectives: reducing threats by managing the security environment in key regions; promoting a liberal economic order to expand global and domestic prosperity; and sustaining the network of global institutions on terms favorable to US interests. While there have been some periodic policy failures, America's overall record is astounding. But how would America's interests fare if the United States chose to disengage from the world and reduce its footprint overseas? Their answer is clear: retrenchment would put core US security and economic interests at risk. And because America's sole superpower status will long endure, the US will not be forced to turn inward. While America should remain globally engaged, it also has to focus primarily on its core interests: reducing great power rivalry and security competition in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East; fostering economic globalization; and supporting a multilateral institutional system that advances US interests. Pursuing objectives beyond this core runs the risk of overextension. A bracing rejoinder to the critics of American globalism, America Abroad is a powerful reminder that a robust American presence is crucial for maintaining world order.

Making The Unipolar Moment

Author: Hal Brands
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501703420
Size: 53.20 MB
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In the late 1970s, the United States often seemed to be a superpower in decline. Battered by crises and setbacks around the globe, its post–World War II international leadership appeared to be draining steadily away. Yet just over a decade later, by the early 1990s, America's global primacy had been reasserted in dramatic fashion. The Cold War had ended with Washington and its allies triumphant; democracy and free markets were spreading like never before. The United States was now enjoying its "unipolar moment"—an era in which Washington faced no near-term rivals for global power and influence, and one in which the defining feature of international politics was American dominance. How did this remarkable turnaround occur, and what role did U.S. foreign policy play in causing it? In this important book, Hal Brands uses recently declassified archival materials to tell the story of American resurgence. Brands weaves together the key threads of global change and U.S. policy from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, examining the Cold War struggle with Moscow, the rise of a more integrated and globalized world economy, the rapid advance of human rights and democracy, and the emergence of new global challenges like Islamic extremism and international terrorism. Brands reveals how deep structural changes in the international system interacted with strategies pursued by Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush to usher in an era of reinvigorated and in many ways unprecedented American primacy. Making the Unipolar Moment provides an indispensable account of how the post–Cold War order that we still inhabit came to be.

The Limits Of Offshore Balancing

Author: Hal Brands
Publisher: Department of the Army
ISBN: 9781584877028
Size: 25.73 MB
Format: PDF
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Is offshore balancing the right grand strategy for America? Is it time for Washington to roll back the vast system of overseas security commitments and forward military deployments that have anchored its international posture since World War II? This monograph argues that the answer to these questions is no. Offshore balancing represents the preferred grand strategy among many leading international-relations "realists," who argue that significant geopolitical retrenchment can actually improve America's strategic position while slashing the costs of its foreign policy. The reality, however, is rather different. The probable benefits of offshore balancing--both financial and geopolitical--are frequently exaggerated, while the likely disadvantages and dangers are more severe than its proponents acknowledge. In all likelihood, adopting this strategy would not allow America to achieve more security and influence at a lower price. The more plausible results would be to dissipate U.S. influence, to court heightened insecurity and instability, and to expose the nation to greater long-range risks and costs. Related products: Economic Security is available here: https: // Security, Defense & Law Enforcement resources collection can be found here: https: //